I Speak To Women; Men May Listen In

While I find it somewhat tedious to explain feminist politics to men, I am happy to have men listen in on some of my conversations with women. One of the first lessons a privileged person can learn is to listen in on a conversation that’s not centered on them.

By refusing to explain basic feminism to men I am teaching the first lesson in feminism. Maybe the hardest one: It’s not about you.

And if a dude is bummed out by the idea of a whole area of discourse and practice that’s not centered on his dudely needs and experiences, that’s a good lesson too! Imagine if the whole world felt like this, instead of just a couple of small areas of it.

In my experience, having public or semi-public conversations about feminism with women that de-center men has done more to move men in my circle of acquaintance towards feminist practice than all the previous 10 years of hand-holding and 101 explaining did. It has pissed some people off, of course, but not really more than when I was trying to be the nice.